roasted tomato on summer squash
If you have checked out my about page you know that I grew up in the sticks.
A particularly memorable feature of my surroundings was a gigantic garden. I mean, it was as if we were preparing for a foretold famine with that garden. Maintaining it was… a challenge, to put it lightly. Rock picking, one of the more groan-inducing chores, was like conducting a grand-scale archaeological dig. Only rather than discovering valuable historic treasures, we found, well, rocks. And when it came time for the actual harvesting, it all came shooting up out of the ground at such a rate so as to make it impossible for us to keep up with it. The result was, granted, a lot of fresh food, but rather cumbersome in size. One of such mutant veggies that often graced our dinner table was the zucchini.
I cannot tell you how I loathed those zucchinis. My mother did her best with them, using the timeless method of getting children to eat something undesirable: smother it with ground beef and cheese. Unfortunately, despite her efforts, I used the timeless method of avoiding something undesirable: Eating all the ground beef and cheese and saying I was full. The thing was, I grew up in a finish-your-plate-or-you’ll-finish-it-for-breakfast kind of household. So my method left me with a hideously large zucchini, naked and lifeless, which I still had to eat. A shudder, a final plea, and then a bite chew and swallow, followed by another shudder. Such was what influenced my view of zucchinis.
At some point, while strolling through a Montreal market bursting with fresh veg no doubt, I came to admit to myself a change of heart. Gazing at those green and yellow delightfully normal-sized summer squash, I thought, Maybe there’s a place for them in my life after all. That was merely the beginning of a blossoming relationship. Since that day, zucchinis and I are tight. Real tight.
This recipe is a real ode to veggies. No ground meat. No cheese. And served with quinoa! *gasp* It’s not exactly a stuffed zucchini recipe…it’s more, topped. I didn’t want to waste any of the zucchini! Trust me, it’s a healthy, happy dinner for two.
2 medium zucchinis
1/2 tbs olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 medium tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
handful of black olives, halved
handful of almond slivers
thinly sliced basil, to garnish
Heat oven at 220°C (425°F).
Slice your zucchinis or yellow squash in half, lengthwise. Place cut side up in a roasting pan, drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Chop up your tomatoes into large chunks and place in an ovenproof pan (I used a small cast-iron skillet). Thinly slice the garlic and toss with the tomato and a tiny bit of olive oil. Season with a touch of salt.
Ideally I would have used cherry tomatoes, but that would have required a trip to the supermarket where I would undoubtedly have seen many other more “ideal” items which would have had me violating the terms of my
Roast the zucchini and tomatoes at the same time, until the tomato is bursting and the zucchini is tender, about 30 minutes.
Now we’re ready to remove and assemble! Spoon the roasted tomatoes onto the sliced zucchini or yellow squash and top with red onion, black olives, almond slivers and basil. Drizzle with some more oil, if desired, and serve with quinoa.
I’m sorry, zucchini. I’m sorry I undervalued you, and misspelled you for so long.